One thing is for sure travel is the ultimate educator, guide, coach and friend you could ever have. The changes I have witnessed in my daughter are amazing, she is more sociable, confident and loves adventures. Thriving on change and new experiences.

I’m travelling to the Forests of the World with my 8 year old daughter Iris Grace. When she was diagnosed with severe autism at 2 yrs old I couldn’t have imagined 6 years later we would be going on adventures like this one. It all started with following her interests and learning to live in the moment, watching and listening to understand how she experiences the world. Each trip is tailored to Iris’s interests and we educate her during the journey as well as building on her self-care and life skills. She learns in a real way that means something to her, that is flexible and free flowing. I am documenting the journeys inspiring others, showing them the beauty in our world that needs to be protected for future generations.

We believe ‘Different is Brilliant’ raising positive awareness for Autism. It’s about following the lead of your child and building on strengths instead of focussing on the weaknesses.

Iris’s love of nature is the foundation of her development, the inspiration for her paintings and where I have found she learns best. Our latest adventure was in April 2018, a 2-week road trip in Greece, visiting forests that are some of Europe’s oldest self-planted beech and oaks, ancient ruins, beautiful beaches, olive groves & historic cities.

Photography by Arabella Carter-Johnson and Harry Speller.

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Our 2 week Road Trip in Greece

Iris walking confidently through markets in Athens

We visited the incredible Meteora monasteries rising like ecclesiastical eagles’ nests

These monasteries are among the most awe-inspiring religious sites on earth

Spent time playing by the turquoise waters in the lush forest valleys

Happily playing and interacting with friends

We saw her open up and enjoy herself in the center of the community

Trying different activities and meeting new people

Playing with musicians, chatting with the locals built on Iris’s confidence

And we watched in delight as she overcame fears

Discovering the epic tales of heroes

Enjoying the view

At times it would all get too much, so I gave her time

Even great little explorers need to be held

And for someone to listen to her worries

Nature has its way of calming and releasing her troubles

She enjoys the peace and tranquility

The freedom of the sandy beaches

Colourful wild flowers

And mind blowing tiny creatures

Delicate details

Curious machinery at the Olive Farm

Ancient trees

And bells

Inspiring scenery

The spectacular Vikos Gorge with its magical turquoise waters was another memorable sight and a place for exploration for Iris

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Then dreaming of more adventures